Josh Jarrett has spent a lot of time thinking about grit. It's the entire premise of his startup, Koru. Alongside CEO and co-founder Kristen Hamilton, Koru seeks out recent college graduates who possess grit, or tenacity, or resilience, but lack real-world experience, and help them land jobs at fast-growing companies. Koru does that by through intensive four-week training programs, hosted at by the companies looking to recruit raw talent.
Through a filtering system, the company identifies job hunters who possess those qualities - the ability to take ownership, take initiative, and thrive in a fast-paced environment - and connects them with companies which are hiring. "High growth companies are looking at people who are street smart a well as book smart," says Jarrett.
It made perfect sense, then, that this idea of grit and tenacity would appeal to the rapper Nas. "His background is the school of hard knocks in a certain way, and learning through experiences in life has gotten to him where he is," Hamilton says. "He's compelled by the way we're preparing people to go to work."
When Nas heard about Koru during the company's $4.2 million Series A last December, he was excited enough to reach out and get involved. Now he's putting his own money into the company, via his investment vehicle, Queensbridge Venture Partners. Beyond that, he's decided to lend his time and star power, too.
Starting with the next class of trainees, Nas will offer ten scholarships to students (they cost $2750) to take Koru's four-week program. He'll also appear at a training session and offer advice and mentorship.
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